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Thread: Final Fantasy XV and Change - Editorial

  1. #1
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy XV and Change - Editorial

    The real news story is that Final Fantasy XV is action-oriented? Why? It will affect the rest of the series? How?

    Editorial
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."

  2. #2
    I wouldn't call mainstreaming an evolution of the franchise. You mention the "other" FF titles, but the majority of those are easily dismissed spin-offs, and the few that did well still aren't as beloved as core FF titles. But now they're slapping the core FF label on a spin-off and expecting us to gobble it up. There are expectations to core FF titles, and this game isn't fulfilling them. In fact, it's snubbing them entirely, kind of like what Dragon Age 2 did, but because it's an FF game I'm just being seen as resistent to change (laughable given I'm one of the few people around here trying to introduce new, non-standard JRPGs to the Year Of lists).

    Of course, I'd rather be wrong. If I am, it means we get a great new FF title, but it already has one thing I never like in any context (QTEs), so I can't say I'm optimistic. Hey, it's okay for them to try something new or different every now and again, but that doesn't mean we want to completely lose the classic formula. It's like your favourite foods: I may want to try something new and every now again, but I'll always want to enjoy pizza.

    And before you mention FF9, it did fulfill those expecations.

    And I've always played FF games more for the gameplay than the story. Story was great, and it certainly helped hook me in, but it didn't keep me coming back.
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 06-18-2013 at 12:47 PM.

  3. #3
    It's an interesting article, and I'm one of the few that don't really care about the "action based" gameplay. I'm used to FF changing the battle system. Sure, the SNES ATB era was my favorite, but I'd also like my battles to go fast (and I'm fine with just pressing A over and over, because battles are something in JRPGs that just slow the narrative down and I can do without them altogether).

    For me its still the setting. Doesn't look or feel like what I consider a real core FF title to be. It looks like a side game. And "look and feel" is probably the most important thing. Its also the same reason I don't consider 7/8/X to be core titles either, simple pretenders like XV is.

    And the amount of hype over it looks like it will never be able to live up to it.

    At this point, I'm pretty much tired of discussing this game though, and its conversion is pretty much the last straw for me and the Square side of that company. (Enix is on the edge too, if DQ11 isn't a return to core DQ, I'll likely give up on that company in its entirety).

    Quite honestly, the shadenfreude part of me wants to see XV fail, hard. I think Square needs a very high profile failure similar to TSW to have any chance of turning themselves back around as a company.
    Last edited by smacd; 06-18-2013 at 12:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I want you to stop for a second and think about your favourite entry in the Final Fantasy franchise. Why exactly did you like that game? Sure, you likely enjoyed the gameplay mechanics (or at least tolerated them), but what made the experience feel truly engrossing for you? Most people don't play Final Fantasy games because they have the best battle systems or gameplay mechanics. In fact, I find that many more conversation regarding an entry's quality are focused more on their narratives, main characters, themes, music, and overall presentation. I'd argue that very few of us come back exclusively for the gameplay. Because of this, I'd also argue that Final Fantasy XV could still be a strong series entry even if it doesn't feature command selection and other RPG elements.
    I'm sorta disagreeing right here...which makes me not want to read more. While you are careful to word this as saying that the gameplay is somewhat important, you're obviously setting up your argument to say it's not as important or the most important element of the game. It's highly subjective viewpoint either way (which is fine since this is an editorial), but understand you lose a lot of people right there. For me, gameplay is always most important. I've said it on backtrack more times than I care to remember. But, maybe I'm the odd duck. And if I don't like competitive FPS (Which I do not), it doesn't matter how good the story is...I'm not going to like the game. Conversely, if the gameplay is super awesome, but the story is a throwaway (For me, Front Mission 3 comes to mind...I stopped caring about the story half way in), I will totally hang with it cuz I'm having such a fun time.

    at least in the eyes of several RPGamers — was the new action-oriented approach. I can honestly say that issues stemming from Final Fantasy XV's action-oriented approach never crossed my mind. Mostly because they're not rational.
    That's a very nice way of saying some of us are crazy in your opinion. I believe my concerns, especially having to do with brand identity, are quite rational. Regardless, a lot of the concerns are subjective (people's opinions...most notably of how much like don't like action RPGs), so I wouldn't say they're irrational. The words you're looking for is subjective.

    Not even ten whole minutes of
    Final Fantasy XV have been shown and the many denizens of the internet have already decided that Final Fantasy XV (a) is an Action game and therefore any RPG elements will be downplayed, if present at all,
    I don't have it handy, but there are quotes from S-E staff backing up the assertion it will be an action RPG. And action RPGs generally have downplayed RP elements. Kingdom hearts, for example, has a simplified skill/attribute system than most RPGs, fewer playable characters (and therefore, less decision making), a more linear approach to the story than most, etc.

    But let's posit for a second that Final Fantasy XV is in fact an Action RPG or even an Action title with only a handful of RPG elements. How would that kind of change affect the entirety of this beloved RPG franchise?
    In the eyes of some decades long fans, completely. If Madden ceased to be a football simulation game and become a baseball simulator...or an arcade football game, you would see quite a number of fans' love for the franchise change rather quickly. Same thing here. Not everyone is a fan of the action RPG design...so for them, that means the game cannot be as good as the other best games in the series. Some hate the typical action RPG approach so much that they don't want to play the game. All of this can change some fans perception of the franchise. Most? Maybe not....but definitely some. Again, this is all highly subjective...but people who support S-E direction here need to understand why this may be a concern for those who do not.

    Change is and has always been a constant of the franchise
    So has command and team based RPG mechanics. Just saying

    Only time will tell. While not every new franchise entry can be made to better suit your RPG tastes, the important thing to remember is that some of them already do — and you can enjoy those fantasies whenever you wish.
    Being a fan of retro-gaming, we can agree on that. And let me point out...even as I write this...my earlier statements stand from other threads. I really hope this game is high quality, reviews and sells well. Furthermore, If it can stand shoulder to shoulder with other great action or action RPG titles of this generation, I will support/buy and enjoy it (As I don't prefer, but can enjoy action RPGs myself). However, I also share the concerns of those who are not looking forward to this change, and I, too, wish they stuck with a more traditional approach. Regardless of how good the story, characters, etc are... and with all those things and more being equal...IMHO, a game is always better with more JRPG/WRPG (non action/deeper) battle mechanics than with an action RPG approach.
    Last edited by jcservant; 06-18-2013 at 01:01 PM.

  5. #5
    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TG Barighm View Post
    I wouldn't call mainstreaming an evolution of the franchise. You mention the "other" FF titles, but the majority of those are easily dismissed spin-offs, and the few that did well still aren't as belowed as core FF titles. But now they're slapping the core FF label on a spin-off and expecting us to gobble it up. There are expectations to core FF titles, and this game isn't fulfilling them. In fact, it's snubbing them entirely, kind of like what Dragon Age 2 did, but because it's an FF game I'm just being seen as resistent to change (laughable given I'm one of the few people around here trying to introduce new, non-standard JRPGs to the Year Of lists).

    Of course, I'd rather be wrong. If I am, it means we get a great new FF title, but it already has one thing I never like in any context (QTEs), so I can't say I'm optimistic. Hey, it's okay for them to try something new or different every now and again, but that doesn't mean we want to completely lose the classics. I may want to try a new restaurant every now and again, but I want the option to return to my favourite place for my favourite meal.

    And before you mention FF9, it did fulfill those expecations.

    And I've always played FF games more for the gameplay than the story. Story was great, and it certainly helped hook me in, but it didn't keep me coming back.
    The problem with almost your entire post here TG is that it's subjective. FFXV looks to be fulfilling the expectations to me, and FFIX did not. And where did you see QTEs?
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  6. #6
    Member colormonster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcservant View Post
    snip
    Agreed fully.

  7. #7
    The problem with almost your entire post here TG is that it's subjective. FFXV looks to be fulfilling the expectations to me, and FFIX did not.
    I don't like FF9 either, but it still plays like a core FF title. FF15 is an entirely different sub-genre of RPG from the previous 14 (the MMOs may have been online games, but their fans sure are quick to say they still feel like core FF games, and they still weren't action/RPGs). I generally expect games of a similar nature within the core franchise. And really, the FF series doesn't see its first major mechanical change until FF11 (you want an RPG series that sees major changes with every iteration? Give Saga a shot). Maybe that is subjective, but it's also a reasonable expectation and you know it. If I wanted to play Kingdom Hearts, I'd play KH3 (and I've never really loved that franchise; enjoyed, but not loved).

    Anyway, my issue with Trent's article isn't really with FF15 itself-I know how to speak with my wallet-but with his attitude. You guys had no trouble knocking EA for mainstreaming Dragon Age 2 or Capcom for that Frankenstein-of-a-monster that is RE6, but now that it's Square's turn, I'm just being closed minded? Well, forgive me for allowing recent history to cloud my judgment, but boy, it's hard to ignore such a long string of failures.
    And where did you see QTEs?
    http://board.rpgamer.com/forum/showt...sy-XV-Gameplay
    Last edited by TG Barighm; 06-18-2013 at 12:54 PM.

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    Member Jormungand's Avatar
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    I was hoping to read an article that convinces me I have nothing to worry about concerning the future of FF. All it did was tell that my fears irrational and "nonsensical".

    First of all, in case there's confusion, FFXV is most definitely an action RPG. We know this from interviews with Nomura and Kitase. We know this from gameplay videos. I'm not sure what else there is to say on the subject. The author is suggesting that what little footage we have seen isn't enough to A) determine this is an action game and B) determine to what extent RPG elements are present. I agree with the latter. But the footage is clearly of an action game.

    Final Fantasy XIII featured a return to isolated battle sequences, a lack of open-world roaming, and story-driven pacing, which then prompted numerous complaints of how the series was "going backwards."
    Ahhhh! I sometimes just want to shout out loud when I read things like this. As I recall, the battle system was definitely one of the less-criticzed aspects of XIII. And what about the battle system was criticized most often? Two particularly action-RPG-like elements: 1) party leader death = game over and 2) only being able to control one character at a time.

    Any series veteran will tell you that no matter how similar a few of the games may look on the outside, each of them sport a number of variances on the inside. The distinctions are clearer in the modern entries, but the series has been subject to formulaic alterations since the beginning.
    You're quite correct. All main console entries were indeed subject to formulaic alterations. Not genre alterations. Real Time =/= Turn Based. No entries from FF1-14 had real-time battle systems. None. FFXV is an entirely new genre. Not a tweak, not an evolution, not a shift. A new genre.

    Only time will tell. While not every new franchise entry can be made to better suit your RPG tastes, the important thing to remember is that some of them already do and you can enjoy those fantasies whenever you wish.
    Why does this sound so familiar... oh hi there, Don Mattrick.

  9. #9
    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    The one paragraph where you discuss individuals opinion towards 11-13 made me smirk a little, Trent. I'm one of those people who didn't like the direction 11 and 12 went, but was thrilled with 13. We are out there, ya know?

    JC and TG make some great points all around. Personally I don't look at FF15 directly as a sign that bad things are to come. Like JC says, some of us have precious few options when it comes to turn-based console RPGs, and now we are seeing one less of this type of game. ARPGs are great, and I have a ton of fun with most of them. I'm not writing off 15 at all, its just that its presence as likely being an ARPG is frustrating because as a community the turn-based console RPG lovers have had to suffer through the BS put out by Idea Factory and Compile Heart for example with little else to turn to in the way of alternatives. Most of us are not saying that 15 will be good or bad based on its gameplay. Maybe if there was a solid title out there on the horizon like Persona 5 or Shadow Hearts 4 things would be different. As it stands though, who knows how long it will be until another higher standard turn-based console RPG is released? 15 was a game that was expected to have this style and therefore something to look forward to. No one really expects Persona 5 to cut out all battles and turn into a visual novel/dating sim or a fighting game even though there is some evidence to suggest those types of changes could be in the works.

    Another thing I find sort of shocking is the negative reaction toward its setting. To me thats the most interesting concept about 15. Did you guys see that Leviathan scene toward the end of one of the trailers? Blew me away.

    Other concerns outside of 15 just being an ARPG are abound too. For example, I can't stand how every character but that one priest seems to be dressed in black. Typically I love a colorful world. Looks like this is going to be Final Fantasy Noir, however.
    Last edited by ChickenGod; 06-18-2013 at 02:11 PM.
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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Seems a lot of people are missing the point. It's not irrational to not like FFXV being an action RPG. It's irrational to think the series is guaranteed to move that direction simply because Versus turned XV is looking to be "action-focused" instead of what people have formed in their mind as being "traditional Final Fantasy." I, for one, don't believe that there is such a thing as "traditional Final Fantasy," just "the Final Fantasy games that I like."
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    Member Scar's Avatar
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    I still think the Action RPG landscape could be better, so why can't SE break that threshold? I mean, ARPGs are fun, but they feel limited.

    FF12 seemed to get certain things right, but the computer controlled AI teammates were junk. Even if FF12 wasn't really a ARPG, it had certain things to work and build on.

    No, I can't say I was happy to see this game get re-branded as FF15, but whatever. FF13 and it's trinity of games looked like a complete bust from the outside. Perhaps they just wanted to separate this game from that fail.

    But, there still is so much we don't know. All I know is that this game has my attention. I'm not bitter enough to hope this game is a huge failure, but I've lost any semblance of optimism that Square can make a game I enjoy still. As a rapid RPG fan, I will have to wait and see, and ultimately judge this game with my own hands.

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    With all respect, as one of the speakers for the other side, I don't think any of us are saying that the series is 'guaranteed' to move in an actiony direction with further iterations of the series (16, 17, etc). No one has a crystal ball. However, given the fact that very few developers go back to developing more traditional, command based RPGs once they move in that direction, it's not far fetched to believe it's a very strong possibility. Add to that the fact that a number of the traditional franchises that have not morphed seem to have moved to the handhelds (ala SMT and S-E's own DQ). With that, I think most of us can agree, while it is most certainly possible, it seems unlikely we will see S-E have the series return to its roots with a full blow, console (not handheld) traditional command style JRPG.

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    Member lolwhoops's Avatar
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    I want to have an opinion on Final Fantasy, since it has been coming up a lot lately, but honestly I just can't be bothered to drum one up. To put it bluntly, I just don't care about what they are offering. Final Fantasy does need to change; I'm just not sure that Final Fantasy as a brand should even continue. Call it something else and people won't be immediately driven to or from and things will be based on how fun and enjoyable the games are. I guess I might be alone in thinking that though. Lots of people still like FF games.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Macstorm View Post
    Seems a lot of people are missing the point. It's not irrational to not like FFXV being an action RPG. It's irrational to think the series is guaranteed to move that direction simply because Versus turned XV is looking to be "action-focused" instead of what people have formed in their mind as being "traditional Final Fantasy."
    10 years ago I would have disagreed, as the battle systems in FF has been a steady and gradual 'evolution', each iteration building on the previous and managing to change while still feeling familiar. After 10, the battle system seemed to go in wildly different directions with each iteration. Who could have predicted FF13's system based on FF12? FF15 being an action based RPG has little bearing on what we will see in FF16, simply based on 'recent' FF game history. Honestly, if anything I think its pretty cool that they are exploring the potential that action can bring to the series. Although it might have been better tried in a side game, like they did with the tactical games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macstorm View Post
    I, for one, don't believe that there is such a thing as "traditional Final Fantasy," just "the Final Fantasy games that I like."
    That's were I disagree. But that's an argument I don't particularly feel like engaging with anymore.

    I do like the statement from Sakaguchi before FF9 came out, in which he said it was "his ideal view of what Final Fantasy should be." It's too bad that ideal has been completely abandoned.

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcservant View Post
    With all respect, as one of the speakers for the other side, I don't think any of us are saying that the series is 'guaranteed' to move in an actiony direction with further iterations of the series (16, 17, etc). No one has a crystal ball. However, given the fact that very few developers go back to developing more traditional, command based RPGs once they move in that direction, it's not far fetched to believe it's a very strong possibility. Add to that the fact that a number of the traditional franchises that have not morphed seem to have moved to the handhelds (ala SMT and S-E's own DQ). With that, I think most of us can agree, while it is most certainly possible, it seems unlikely we will see S-E have the series return to its roots with a full blow, console (not handheld) traditional command style JRPG.
    I think too many people hop on their Jump to Conclusions mat out of fear. Totally cool to not be down with FFXV, so there really is not "other side" in this case. And it's not really a Don Mattrick statement to say that each person has FFs that they prefer and others they don't.
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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I think too many people hop on their Jump to Conclusions mat out of fear.
    Perhaps. I'm not sure how others are jumping to their conclusions. I'm basing my presumptions on S-E history, lack of strong RPG franchises (outside of FF) making a console appearance this gen, and similar patterns / history that I saw with many of my favorite WRPGs back in the day. However, I totally acknowledge that it is a subjective hypothesis that, while grounded in observation of history and facts, are not a promise of tomorrow by any stretch.

    And it's not really a Don Mattrick statement to say that each person has FFs that they prefer and others they don't.


    It is one to kinda say if they don't like it (what's happening with XV) they can play the previous FF games, though

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    Member Jormungand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scar View Post
    FF12 seemed to get certain things right, but the computer controlled AI teammates were junk.
    That's a mischaracterization of FF12. FF13 had "computer controlled AI teammates". FF12 had player-controlled AI--you get to customize how your teammates behave. And, you could interrupt that AI at any time you please and give them direct commands. And, you can change the party leader during battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenGod View Post
    Another thing I find sort of shocking is the negative reaction toward its setting. To me thats the most interesting concept about 15. Did you guys see that Leviathan scene toward the end of one of the trailers? Blew me away.
    I have no problem with the setting, and I agree that the Leviathan scene looks amazing.

  18. #18
    Member Scar's Avatar
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    Uh, while you can kinda control what the AI does in FF12, the computer still goes around doing it. You give them commands I guess, but it could be better implemented is what I'm trying to get at.
    Last edited by Scar; 06-18-2013 at 04:24 PM.

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    First off, this isn't going to apply to all future FF releases. Final Fantasy is a franshise that changes, constantly. It is always changing, from title to title, because Square is always trying new things. So no, this isn't going to be the status quo now.

    Now as far as THIS game is concerned, yes, it looks like it might be an action-RPG. In fact, I have reason to believe it might be a straight up action game. I have to give you RPG fanatics out there a reality check. Like it or not, turn-based combat systems in video games are going away. They're going away, because they just aren't practical in modern games anymore. Pretty soon, other than Dragon Quest and a few other niche JRPG franchises, they will be virtually nonexistant, in favor of action-based systems, or at the very least, some kind of real-time system. And even Dragon Quest might change to a more action-based system at some point; I'm not counting out that possibility yet.

    Personally, I have no major issues with an action-based FF game. My only real gripe with it is this. If they are going to make it a straight up action game, they really should just come out and advertise it as such. Because otherwise, fans expecting an RPG are going to feel bait-and-switched. Not everyone pays attention to E3, or the online trailers. My sister, the person that got me into the Final Fantasy series, didn't even know what Versus XIII WAS, until I explained it to her. And even then, she was confused when I said it's now FFXV.
    Last edited by SBaby; 06-18-2013 at 04:31 PM.

  20. #20
    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
    Ahhhh! I sometimes just want to shout out loud when I read things like this. As I recall, the battle system was definitely one of the less-criticzed aspects of XIII. And what about the battle system was criticized most often? Two particularly action-RPG-like elements: 1) party leader death = game over and 2) only being able to control one character at a time.
    OBJECTION! Have you forgotten about Persona 3? That it had a MC who was the only person you could only play as, and if he died it was game over? Are you telling me that was a ARPG?
    Last edited by DarkRPGMaster; 06-18-2013 at 05:10 PM.
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